On The Road To Alta Badia

The first leg of our Italy trip led us from Milan, where we arrived by plane and rented a car, to a small town on the western shore of Lake Garda called Gargnano.  After having been awake for 24 hours at this point, I could not have driven much further.  We enjoyed the views, had a big lunch, and hit the sack in our comfy room at the Lefay Resort.  The Lefay Resort is a beautiful, modern spa resort opened in 2008 that is set high up the hill from the quaint town of Gargnano.  Gargnano was a great stop-over and I am vowing to return one day, if only to see Villa Feltrinelli, which is only open April through October.  Villa Feltrinelli was Mussolini’s last home, and after a $30 million dollar remodel is a 20-room hotel.  Maybe I would split my time between Lefay and Villa Feltrinelli…

Sunset at the Lefay Resort
Sunday Brunch

Fully rested the next day, we were ready for the 3-hour drive to San Cassiano in the Alta Badia.  The drive was stunning on a crisp, blue Italian spring day.

Gargnano, and our destination, the mountains, in the background
The church of San Martino, Gargnano

Just north of Lake Garda lies the Trentino-Alto Adige wine region.  Due to the fact that it was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire until 1919, you will find many Germanic grape varieties, such as Gewürztraminer and Riesling, as well as some of Italy’s most famous sparkling wines and red varietals.

Driving north into the Trentino-Alto Adige wine region
More from Trentino-Atlo Adige
There are over 400 castles in the region

Gaining altitude in the mountains, we started to see more Austrian influences in the architecture.  As part of the terms of the Treaty of Saint-Germain of 1919, at the close of the First World War, Italy annexed Trentino-Alto Adige (also known as South Tyrol), which, according to a census in 1910, showed that 92% of inhabitants were German speakers.  The area is an interesting mix of Austrian and Italian influences, and I ended up using a lot of my college German (how I dusted off those cobwebs, I will never know!).   

Coming up to the first of the ski villages
Our introduction to the Dolomiti, the Dolomite mountain range
Arriving in Alta Badia, an area encompassing 1,200 km of ski trails
The Dolomites were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Centre in 2009 and are comprised of 18 peaks, each of which surpasses 9,800 feet.  Our ski destination was a town called San Cassiano, located in the Alta Badia ski region.  Below was a welcoming sign after spending 3 hours in a car on a winding, mountainous road with 2 carsick children.  The languages spoken, as indicated on the sign, are Ladin, which is the local language, followed by Italian and German.

We chose a charming abode for our week-long stay called the Lagaciò Mountain Residence.  Built in 2009 from locally sourced materials such as pine, spruce and larch, the Lagaciò has 29 apartments, each spacious and tastefully appointed. 

The Ammonite Suite comfortably accommodated five people
There was a small kitchen with all the modern amenities
Master bedroom
A sauna was located in the guest bathroom
Purified drinking water from a spout
A tea bar should that capture your fancy
Good night spelled in the local language, Ladin
San Cassiano at sunset

Bëgnodii and sweet dreams!   Stick around for some good eats in the next few posts!

xoxo M

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